Big City, Little Homestead

Living rural in the city.

Month: May 2013

A Point Pelee pictorial

I’m not that much of a birder. I recognize about 50 to maybe 80 species of bird (now, which used to be less than 20) but I do like to take on a birding challenge once in a while. Two years ago I took a trip to Point Pelee and then continued on to Detroit and all the way to Nebraska taking the Amtrak California Zephyr. This year, I visited Point Pelee and Detroit again.

Regarding this feature photo, taken before departure: there was not that much goosey terrestrial territory at Pelee. They prefer open meadows of shorn grass near water – the kind of territory we love to provide with urban parks, especially when we drain and bulldoze wetlands for our “standard” of development. However, you will still see Canada geese having proper nests in proper wetlands. They are an aquatic bird, after all.

Point Pelee is the southernmost part of Canada. It is the heart of Carolinian Canada, representative of an endangered ecotone – a region of similar ecology, with populations of hallmark species that interact in an ecological community. Much of the Carolinian and Mixed broadleaf forest in Canada has been needlessly destroyed by agriculture and urban development. The swath of land between Windsor and Toronto – and even pockets all the way to Montreal – is heavily populated and are vestiges of this ecotone.

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A new fence made of welded wire and cedar posts

At long last, I finally have a new front fence. I could go digging through my blog posts or photographs to show you its somewhat ugly predecessor – which I had built in a rush and with limited resources in 2010. But really, why mar your eyes, when I can show you the beauty of the new fence, in a pic taken by a non-photographer with the ever-ready iPhone? (It’s true: when I aim to please, I use an old Kodak EasyPix.)

As I wrote last year in one of my most popular posts (on making Red Pepper Jelly), I do not have a post-pounder, an auger, or a sharp-shooter for digging the post holes. This is the kind of fence I wanted, minus the barbed wire, however, when I found welded-wire fence at the hardware store, I bought it just to commit to the project. I posted then that it would look something like this when done, except with nice round cedar fence posts from the country, and not square city posts.

I rented a post digger shovel from Home Depot, and I got the help of one fine friend, Marc. He thought that round posts or square posts made a difference in ease of installation, until we got to work and saw it made no difference at all. We used six posts for the fence. Each one took about 45 minutes to dig – or at least it felt that way!

The sun was bright, and it was hot, and hair-metal music played on the boom box (which was called a Ghetto Blaster in Mr. T’s day). We joked about wearing beer t-shirts just to fit the work image. Marc had too much beer the night before, so we saved all cap-twisting for when the work was done.
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